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Cal on lack of bench play: “But, I come back to, played guys too many minutes. They’re not ready for that”


Why didn’t John Calipari sub more against Baylor when he basically admitted he played all his started too many minutes?

“You just, you get into a game, in the heat of the game and you forget. I’ve forgotten – there are times I forget guys are on the bench, and I look down and I go, ‘What are you doing? Get in.’ So it happens,” Calipari said. “Sometimes it’s the flow of the game, and you’re just trying to get out of the game, which is what happened there too.

“We get up, we’re ready to blow them out, I don’t want to make changes, I wanted to keep going. Like I told them after, we didn’t play enough people. So, we’re going forward with the idea that, ‘Look, some of you guys got to play, and we’re going to buy time and hopefully you’re going to play well because you deserve to play well because of how you practice and you deserve more minutes.’ And we’re go from there.

“But, that had nothing to do with them outrebounding us by 18, had nothing to do with their physical play versus our lack of physical play. That happened early, not just the last four minutes. So, there were things – I don’t know if I could have subbed when we missed those first six free throws. We were 0-for-6. But, I come back to, played guys too many minutes. They’re not ready for that. And that means they go in and that’s when they stop play and they try to get – you know – so they can make it all their minutes.”

Is there a fine line between developing a cohesive team and playing too many minutes?

“That’s one of the reasons you play less people. But, what we have is some guys that were playing with no real intensity that did not deserve to be out there that long or were just getting pushed and shoved,” Calipari said “Then you don’t deserve to be in there. So there is a fine line, but there’s also – you can’t play that way and stay on the court.”

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  1. John

    Glad to hear him say that.
    I hope he lives it. Our bench hasn’t been the motivator it was suppose to have been so far this year.

  2. Larry Pup

    Cal took responsibility for not subbing like he should. That is on him. He has to figure out a rotation. If a guy is not going to hustle and battle, then get him out of the game. That includes stars. You can lose either way, but you find out who wants to fight and play hard. You may even find another player that can get it done too. Plus people play harder, generally, after spending time on the pine. It also gives rest to the starters at critical times during the game. You not apt to battle if your spent. I agree with Cal that it can be a challenge.

  3. OldFan

    Cal says that often, but he doesn’t seem to be able to make it happen. He is like the parent that keeps “threatening” to take a special toy away from a child to make them behave, but never does. Pretty soon the child learns it is an empty threat and they don’t have to listen. Until Cal is willing to pull them off the floor like Joe B. did in the NCAA Tournament in 1975, they are not going to listen.
    By not doing what he has said he would do, even before the season started, he is sending a bad message to possible future players that may not be McDonald’s All Americans. The message being sent is, “I will brag on you and tell everyone how good you are doing in practice; I will also say how important it is that I find you minutes; I will tell the world I have enough good players that I don’t have to put up with a lack of energy or effort.” After saying all that, I can then say, “Oh, I forgot I had those boys sitting on the bench; I guess that’s why we lost.”

  4. Rod

    Yes, play more than six players

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